Jul 21, 2010 by Melissa Agocs

Nevada DOE: Fast ForWord is a “High-Gain Program”

The Nevada Senate Bill 185 (SB 185) funded districts to purchase and implement innovative and remedial educational programs, materials, and strategies specific to their academic needs. 

The Nevada Department of Education commissioned the Leadership and Learning Center (LLC) to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the programs that had been purchased with SB 185 grants.  Their 2010 Interim Report includes a review of the performance of Fast ForWord products.

To quote from the Report….“ Emphasis was placed on measuring student growth toward academic proficiency and mastery using state and local assessments… The analyses were completed as a result of extensive site visits, phone interviews, and an examination of two-year sets of school cohort achievement data for Criterion-Referenced Tests (CRT) for grades three through eight and High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE) for grades nine through twelve.” 

The Report closely examined CRT results at Goolsby Elementary School (which implemented Fast ForWord across all grade levels).  They concluded that each year of Fast ForWord implementation resulted in an increase in the percentage of grade-level proficient students. To quote the Report, “CRT data indicate a statistically significant increase in Reading and Writing proficiency levels…   CRT data indicate that Reading increased from 67% to 82% proficient, [and] Writing increased significantly from 55% to 82% proficient… from 2006 to 2008.”

This graph summarizes the main conclusions from the Report. The red bars represent programs that were found to have undetermined effects or low gains. Blue bars indicate high-gain programs, in which students made high gains according to the LLC standards. The green bar represents Fast ForWord, which was also found to be a high-gain program. In fact, the Report concludes that Fast ForWord products increased student reading achievement by an average of 22.2percentage points, which was the largest average impact of all programs reviewed in the Report. The percentile scores shown in the graph represent an analysis of data from one to multiple schools using the specified product. In the case of Fast ForWord products, data from three schools were included in the analysis.

For more information, please see the Educator Briefing on this study as well as any of our 200+ additional reports on Fast ForWord results.  If you have questions about any of our research studies, please contact us.